On Belief: A Podcast About Cults

On Belief is about why none of us are immune from coercive thought reform

About the show

We all would like to think that we're immune to being persuaded, but were that true, advertising wouldn't work, the best candidates would always get elected, and our personal relationships would always be equitable.

On Belief examines why, with so much information available to us to dissuade us from joining harmful groups. I ask people who have had first hand experience with harmful groups and sects how they were seduced, how they were tricked, and how they got out.

On Belief: A Podcast About Cults on social media

Episodes

  • Episode 206: Tara Yoga

    October 22nd, 2019  |  Season 1  |  15 mins 22 secs

    CONTENT WARNING: CONTAINS FRANK DISCUSSION OF SEXUAL ABUSE

    Not many people think by signing up for Yoga classes, they could be putting themselves at risk of joining a high demand group, but the story of Tara Yoga is one of bait and switch from the word go.

  • Episode 118: Catherine Oxenberg on Cults and Families

    September 3rd, 2019  |  Season 1  |  15 mins 46 secs
    allison mack, belief, catherine oxenberg, coercion, cults, karen geier, keith raniere, nancy saltzman, nxivm, religions, rick alan ross, sects, yoga

    FEED NOW FIXED
    Catherine Oxenberg, author of Captive: A Mother's Crusade to Save Her Daughter from a Terrifying Cult joins me to discuss her ordeal extracting her daughter India from NXIVM and her experiences helping bring Keith Raniere to justice.

  • Episode 117: De-Programming With Mia Donovan

    August 27th, 2019  |  Season 1  |  16 mins 22 secs
    brainwashing, cults, deprogramming, mia donovan, ted patrick

    Director of Deprogrammed, Mia Donovan, joins me to talk about the Godfather of De-programming, Ted Patrick, who 'De-programmed' her step-brother when he was 14 years old.

  • Episode 116: Jehovah's Witnesses Part 2 with Jerry Minor

    August 20th, 2019  |  Season 1  |  16 mins 1 sec
    apostate, ex-jw, jehovah, jehovah's witnesses

    Jerry Minor (SNL, Mr. Show, Arrested Development) joins me today to discuss his time in the witnesses and the rather unusual way he got out.

  • Episode 115: Jehovah's Witnesses Part 1 with Dawn Wilburn-Saboe

    August 13th, 2019  |  Season 1  |  15 mins 28 secs
    apostate, ex-jw, jehovah, jehovah's witnesses

    If your only exposure to the Jehovah's Witnesses has been at your door when they've been recruiting, you might not know about the rather extreme belief system Witnesses are forced to adhere to under threat of Disfellowshipment. My guest today describes her live inside and out of the Witnesses.

  • Episode 114: Quiverfull with Guest Heather Doney

    August 6th, 2019  |  Season 1  |  15 mins 46 secs
    bible, biblical patriarchy, christians, evangelicals, fundamentalism, fundies, heather doney, quiverfull

    Heather Doney was raised in the Quiverfull belief system while living in New Orleans and peeking out her backyard at the sights of Mardi Gras.

  • Episode 113: Quiverfull with Guest Kathryn Joyce

    July 30th, 2019  |  Season 1  |  15 mins 36 secs
    bible, biblical patriarchy, christians, evangelicals, fundamentalism, fundies, kathryn joyce, quiverfull

    Quiverfull is more than just 'the fundies next door with a lot of kids.' The world view, based heavily on Biblical Patriarchy, is a high demand lifestyle for women and girls, and that sometimes has dire consequences.

  • Episode 112: MLMs with Sasha Zazzi & Katie Young, Rachel Lloyd, and Fallon Morey

    July 23rd, 2019  |  Season 1  |  15 mins 45 secs
    amway, katie young, lularoe, mlm, mlmfail, multi level marketing, quixtar, sasha zazzi

    "Hey Hun, are you interested in a business opportunity?"
    If you've ever had a random message from an old friend on Facebook, this episode is for you.

  • Episode 111: Cult Hopping & NXIVM Trial Update With Guest EJ Dickson

    July 16th, 2019  |  Season 1  |  49 mins 31 secs
    allison mack, belief, coercion, cults, ej dickson, karen geier, keith raniere, nancy salzman, nxivm, religions, rick alan ross, sects, yoga

    EJ Dickson covered the NXIVM trial for Rolling Stone and discovered a phenomenon among those who leave cults: some of them move to other cults.

  • Episode 110: Falun Gong With Guest Ben Hurley

    July 9th, 2019  |  Season 1  |  17 mins 20 secs
    china, chinese government, falun dafa, falun gong, li honghzhi, organ harvesting, qiqong, self immolation, tai chi, terrorism

    Ben Hurley was once a devout Falun Gong practitioner who worked for the sect's media arm The Epoch Times. Find out what drew him in and why he ultimately left.

  • Episode 109: FLDS with Guests Leona Bateman and Briell Decker Blanchart

    July 2nd, 2019  |  Season 1  |  17 mins 11 secs
    exmormon, flds, latter day saints, lds, lyle jeffs, mormons, rulon jeffs, short creek, utah, warren jeffs

    Leona Bateman and Briell Decker Blanchart discuss what life is like for them out of the FLDS and how they've dedicated their lives to making the exit easier for others.

  • Episode 108: FLDS with Guest Brenda Nicholson

    June 25th, 2019  |  Season 1  |  19 mins 57 secs
    exmormon, flds, latter day saints, lds, lyle jeffs, mormons, rulon jeffs, short creek, utah, warren jeffs

    Content warning: Contains discussion of suicide

    Guest Brenda Nicholson joins us to discuss her time in and out of FLDS

  • Episode 107: Hillsong with Guests Lea Ceasrine, Rick Alan Ross, and Tanya Levin

    June 18th, 2019  |  Season 1  |  15 mins 34 secs
    bobbie houston, brian houston, carl lentz, child abuse, chris pratt, frank houston, fundamentalism, gay rights, hillsong, justin bieber, pentecostalism, vanessa hudgens

    You may know Hillsong for its celebrity followers, or for the Instagram presence of its tattooed preacher Carl Lentz, but what you may not know about Hillsong is it has a very chequered past.

  • Episode 106: Large Group Awareness Training With Guests █████, ███████, & █████

    June 11th, 2019  |  Season 1  |  21 mins 2 secs
    alan smithee, belief, coercion, cults, group therapy, jane doe, karen geier, marty flipman, meditation, religions, sects, team building, yoga

    What is Large Group Awareness Training? It's a form of group "therapy" that promises it can cure almost anything going wrong in your life. It's so ubiquitous, some major corporations pay for their staff to take the courses.

  • Episode 105: Messianic Jews with Guest Rabbi Michael Skobac

    June 4th, 2019  |  Season 1  |  16 mins 11 secs
    christianity, christians, evangelical, evangelism, fundamentalists, jeshua, jesus, jewish, jews, judaism, karen geier, rabbi michael skobac

    Rabbi Michael Skobac from Jews for Judaism (https://jewsforjudaism.org/staff/rabbi-michael-skobac/) joins me to discuss what the heck Messianic Judaism means

  • Episode 104: Aum Shinrikyo with Guest Sarah Hightower

    May 28th, 2019  |  Season 1  |  16 mins 37 secs
    aum shinrikyo, biological weapons, chemical weapons, cults, dirty bombs, karen geier, poisoning, religions, sarah hightower, sarin, sects, shoko asahara, terrorism, yoga

    The story of the Aum affair may seem like a uniquely Japanese event, but the reality is that it could have happened anywhere. Sarah Hightower joins us to explain why.